Hmmm. I am going to contemplate John 4 this week. The chapter is a favorite, and I associate it with the beautiful testimony of a dear friend who believed herself unfit for motherhood after an abortion. Years later, she spoke publicly of her long-held feeling of shame and the remorse that robbed her of so much as dreaming of parenting. She spoke of how Jesus found her right where she was at--- keenly aware of her shortcomings and the pain piled up throughout her life. My friend identified her own surprise that she need not come to Him with her life neatly ordered, just like the Samaritan woman who expressed shock at Jesus's attention and knowledge of her far-from-a-fairytale life. The Samaritan woman brought a village to Jesus feet, and my friend brought a community of women to their knees with the announcement of her pregnancy. Each of those women found He would offer her grace to cover her brokenness. And the surprise discovery that He would and could bring new life through the profound mercy to be found at the foot of a cross. Well, the cross.
Laura's post had me smiling, and thinking of how it is possible to continually pour out even though I do not shoulder the responsibility for others' response to care. My chronically half-empty glass is in no real danger of being emptied. I can pour it out for others without worry knowing there is that well of Living Water Jesus offered in John 4. The only time my glass is likely to be sucked dry is when there is a self-induced drought brought on by failure to return to that well for a refill.
This week, the thought that John 4 was the place to be coincided with Middle Child's pre-departure lunch mas she heads to Mexico for a week of service building a home and sharing Jesus through Children's Bible School with her middle school youth group.
In preparation for the trip, we talked of how she might take time to study those verses in John 4 herself with an eye toward the future she hopes to see unfold. A future with training in engineering with an eye toward the incredible need for clean drinking water in many places around the world. Or perhaps for knowledge of crop techniques to yield sufficient food for areas suffering from hunger. Ideas that have sprouted as a result of seeds planted in Laura's Honduran home. And at the foot of that cross.
Imagine my smile when our pastor announced today in service that he would be departing from Joseph to honor what God had done through the faithfulness of a team sent out from our church to assist in planting four churches in Uganda over the last two weeks. Two weeks that resulted in hundreds of people discovering that wellspring of grace, mercy, and possibility that fills one to overflowing. His departure from Genesis? A detour to the Good News found in John 4.